Tukata recently gave a cooking class to 3 food scientists looking to expand their skills and cooking repertoire at her home outside Stamford, in Lincolnshire. She stands at perhaps 5'4 and watching her bustling around to each of the men, showing them the proper techniques of the mortar and pistal, then stuffing sausages by hand the old fashioned way was quite entertaining.
Apart from learning how to make the most mouth-watering meals, they also got a first hand taste of what it's like to be in Tukatas world. They kept begging her for her secret spice mixes but she stoutly held her ground, giggling all the way. Her family recipes have been carefully stewarded for 3 generations, including the ones her Aunt used in the Thai Royal House. (The actual palace, that is. Not a restuarant in New Yorks' China Town as I had assumed at first...)
Drinks were had as the salmon sat smoking on the grill and all round there was a feeling of joviliaty. Her doting husband kept popping in and out of the steamy kitchen to check on her and make sure she had everything she needed, you got a real sense of family and, while Bobby, the black lab, was sauntering about everyones legs, a feeling that this was home.
The dishes they made were a smoked salmon, hand stuffed sausage and a roasted duck with caramelized pecan salad. Delish!